My Dish­wash­ing Part­ner

Friends with God

Activated - - FRONT PAGE - SALLY GARCÍA IS AN ED­U­CA­TOR, MIS­SION­ARY, AND MEM­BER OF THE FAM­ILY IN­TER­NA­TIONAL IN CHILE. ■ BY SALLY GARCÍA There is not in the world a kind of life more sweet and de­light­ful, than that of a con­tin­ual con­ver­sa­tion with God. —Brother Lawrence (c. 1614–169

Some of my most sig­nif­i­cant mo­ments with God have been with my hands in dish­wa­ter. For many years, I’ve been in the habit of start­ing my morn­ing with de­vo­tional read­ing and prayer. But in­evitably, time ticks by, and I need to get up and be­gin the day be­fore I feel like I’ve quite fin­ished. Para­phras­ing the old gospel song, “I’d stay in the gar­den with Him, but the day around me is start­ing.”

1 So I tell God, We can fin­ish this later, and carry my break­fast dishes to the kitchen. I don’t re­ally en­joy do­ing dishes, so I some­times put on some in­spi­ra­tional mu­sic or a pod­cast while I work, but of­ten I work in the still­ness and just let my mind flow. I muse over events and won­der about how and why cer­tain things are hap­pen­ing. I think of my daugh­ter and her fam­ily and other loved ones, and pretty soon my thoughts turn into sim­ple pray­ers.

Then some­times a new thought will come into my mind, some­thing that I’ve never re­al­ized be­fore. Maybe a new way of look­ing at a sit­u­a­tion or a bit of en­cour­age­ment, an idea, or a so­lu­tion to a prob­lem I’m fac­ing. Some­times it isn’t even a thought, but a peace in my heart and a feel­ing of trust and grat­i­tude.

When this hap­pens, it’s ob­vi­ous to me that it’s not some­thing I’ve con­jured up on my own; I be­lieve the in­spi­ra­tion comes from God’s quiet voice speak­ing within my soul. As Billy Gra­ham said, “I can tell you that God is alive be­cause I talked to him this morn­ing.”

Look at the amaz­ing ex­am­ple of Brother Lawrence. He was a hum­ble cook in a sev­en­teenth-cen­tury French monastery who was able to turn even a bor­ing job, such as wash­ing dishes, into an act of wor­ship and an op­por­tu­nity to build his re­la­tion­ship with God. He said: “The key to friend­ship with God is not chang­ing what you do, but chang­ing your at­ti­tude to­ward what you do. What you nor­mally do for your­self you be­gin do­ing for God, whether it is eat­ing, bathing, work­ing, re­lax­ing, or tak­ing out the trash.” 2

Je­sus wants to be your best friend and trusted part­ner. Just in­vite Him in: Dear Je­sus, please come into my life and stay by my side al­ways. Help me get to know You bet­ter and draw closer to You through read­ing Your Word. Amen.

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